In Hofstadter’s wife Carol died suddenly of a brain tumor at only 42, leaving “I Am a Strange Loop is vintage Hofstadter: earnest, deep, overflowing with. Not so fast, protests Pulitzer Prize-winning cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter in I Am a Strange Loop – the thoughtful companion to Gödel, Escher, Bach, his. So, a mirage that only exists because it perceives itself: this is an example of what Hofstadter calls a “strange loop”. He has an endearing.

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The subtitle of the new book indicates that it develops the the theme of his earlier essay ; on thought as analogy.

I Am a Strange Loop

While Tolle occasionally does fall into new-age batshit, overall his analysis was fairly compelling to me. How things would be different if the standard of worth favored a being like the mosquito.


Hofstadter collects and studies cognitive errors largely, but not solely, speech errors”bon mots” spontaneous humorous quipsand analogies of all sorts, and his long-time observation of these diverse products of cognition, and his theories about the mechanisms that underlie them, have exerted a powerful influence on the architectures of the computational models developed by himself and FARG members.

He tries to keep his discussion purely on mathematical and scientific terms. Hofstadter is certainly right in exorcising the ghosts of Cartesian dualism. This theme is not the focus of the book, and could certainly use more development. May 25, shawn rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Finally, I find his point “consciousness is a hallucination hallucinated by a hallucination” useless and downright wrong. It amounts to listening to some friend who got stoned and had an amazing idea.


The question, then, becomes why is the “I” concept uniquely significant? The response so far has basically been to ignore this inconvenient fact and hope that it’s not so inconvenient that people begin to notice.

This is an oversimplification. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Putting aside the question of consciousness, though, I like Doug’s picture of the self as built in this semi-public way, which leaves it an open question how much of the matter of the self gets filled in by how other people treat us per Hegelwhat we figure out ourselves like during Lacan’s mirror stage, or Ayn Rand, who I’m reading now in preparation for a future episode, is all about this to a pretty silly degreeand what comes to us second-hand through the terms of our language itself the bulk of Lacan’s account.

Become a PEL Citizen! No two concepts could seem more dissimilar on the surface as writing philosophy and trailing through the jungle. Enough, then, of self-referentiality.

I Am a Strange Loop – Wikipedia

I Am a Strange Loop is a book by Douglas Hofstadterexamining in depth the concept of a strange loop to explain the sense of “I”. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. What is a self, and how can a self come out of stuff that is as selfless as a stone or a puddle? Mar 05, David rated it did not like it.

For each human being, this “I” seems to be the hogstadter thing in the world. Hofstadteer sorry little review gives no idea of the depth or richness of this book. If it cannot, then how can you or I be here? In all my reading of the popular literature on theory of mind and consciousness, only a very few books have made me feel as though, reading them, I were seeing a bit of the veil pulled back.


Other more recent models are Phaeaco implemented by Harry Foundalis and SeqSee Abhijit Mahabalwhich model high-level perception hofstadtrr analogy-making in the microdomains of Bongard problems and number sequences, respectively. This page was last edited on 8 Septemberat Anyway, I am a self-referent loop that talks about itself. View all 4 comments. Incidentally he is also developing a theory of consciousness, which is a correlate of soul.

Douglas Hofstadter’s “I Am a Strange Loop” on the Self

In a nutshell, our quandary is this. When you get down to it, as far as Hofstadter is concerned, the self is the Ultimate Illusion — or even a hallucination, as he puts it. He admits off the top that the concept of the mind and conscious thought is quite difficult to nail down, and probably impossible to draw a distinct line upon.

I love Hofstadter but the good parts of this book were a rehashing of GEB and The Mind’s I, and the parts I struggled through were off the mark as believable cognitive philosophical theory.